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By Dick Francis

A high-class, transcontinental horse-racing junket will be an idyllic getaway for the super-rich.

But one passenger in this teach is a sociopath, a genius at blackmail and legal corruption—and he plans to take everybody for every thing they have got.

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George opened the pinnacle lid of the tank and confirmed me a small plank floating at the floor. “It stops the water sloshing approximately rather a lot, eh? ” Eh, certainly, i assumed. there have been dozens of bales of hay in all places attainable, and a crammed hay-net swinging lightly above each one horse’s head. a number of grooms sat round on bales whereas their fees nibbled their undeniable fare and concept mysterious equine strategies. every one field had the identify of its occupant thoughtfully supplied on a typewritten card slotted right into a holder at the door. I peered at some of them, selecting Filmer and Daffodil’s Laurentide Ice as a gentle grey colt with brittle-looking bones, the Lorrimores’ balloting correct as an unremarkable bay, and the Youngs’ Sparrowgrass as a vivid chestnut with a white famous person and sock. “Come on,” George acknowledged. “Meet the engineers, eh? ” He wasn’t a horse guy, himself. “Yes. thanks. ” He opened the ahead door of the pony van with a key, and with a key additionally allow us to via into the bags motor vehicle. “The doorways are stored locked, eh? ” I nodded. We swayed down the lengthy luggage motor vehicle, which used to be part empty of freight and extremely noisy, and George, having informed me to take away and lay apart my waistcoat in order to not get oil on it, unlocked the door on the some distance finish. If I’d proposal it noisy the place we have been, the place we went made conversing very unlikely. George beckoned and that i via a door into the warmth of the rear part of the engines, the part containing between different issues the boiler that supplied steam to warmth the entire teach. George pointed wordlessly to a big tank of water and with entertainment confirmed me the procedure for telling the volume of the contents. At periods up the large cylinder there have been basic faucets, the type stumbled on over sinks. George pointed to the figures beside every one, which have been in enormous quantities of gallons, and made tap-turning motions along with his arms. One grew to become at the faucets, I understood with incredulity, to find the extent of the contents. Supremely logical, I intended, if one had by no means heard of gauges. We went on ahead right into a slender passage beside yards of scorching hammering engine of greater than head peak, throbbingly painful to the senses, after which omitted a coupling into one other engine, even longer, even noisier, even warmer, the very stuff of hell. on the ahead finish of that we got here to a glass-paneled door, which wanted no key, and without notice we have been within the comparative quietness of the drivers’ cab, correct on the entrance of the teach. there has been clean cool air there, because the small right-hand window, subsequent to the financial institution of controls in entrance of the engineer’s seat, was once extensive open. whilst I commented on it, George acknowledged that that window used to be open regularly other than in blizzards, eh? during the large ahead unopening home windows there has been a riveting view of the rails stretching forward, signs shining eco-friendly within the distance, timber flashing again at an invaluable seventy miles an hour. I’d by no means been within the cab of a relocating teach sooner than, and that i felt i'll have stayed there all day. on the controls sat a youngish guy in no kind of uniform, and beside him sat an older guy in cleanish overalls with grease on his hands.

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